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Ban On Sale of Dogs, Cats A Vote Away

Governing body introduces revised ordinance that only affects retail establishments

The sale of dogs and cats will likely soon be banned in Manasquan.

The Borough Council unanimously introduced a revised ordinance at its regular meeting Tuesday night that forbids retailers from selling, breeding or bartering dogs or cats within the borough limits. No members of the public or governing body commented on the ordinance.

Tuesday's introduction was the governing body's to institute a retail ban, as has recently been adopted in nearby and . Council then rejected a retail ban last month after members objected to language that could have extended the proposed ban to private breeders and kennels.

"The original intent of this ordinance was not to affect or target individual households or a kennel that may breed dogs, (but) the way it's worded may just do that," Councilman Joe Bossone previously said.

Any reference to kennels has been removed from the proposed ordinance, which explicitly covers pet stores, pounds and shelters.

Borough officials previously have said the owner of the borough's only retail pet shop had no objections to the proposed ordinance. 

Citing research from the Humane Society of the United States, the ordinance states that many licensed breeders breed dogs or cats "in relatively inhumane conditions." 

Commonly referred to as "puppy mills" and "kitten factories," such breeders have been known by authorities to over-breed, inbreed, lack standard veterinary care, provide poor-quality food and shelter, lack human socialization, and over-crowd cages, the ordinance says.

The ordinance states that the retail sale of dogs and cats is "inconsistent with the borough's goal to be a community that cares about animal welfare," and a ban "will also encourage pet consumers to adopt dogs and cats from shelters, thereby saving animals' lives and reducing the cost to the public of sheltering animals."

Retailers who violate the cat and dog sale ban will be subject to a fine up to $2,000 per offense, 90 days in jail and/or 90 days of community service.

The bans in Brick and Point Pleasant and the pending prohibition in Manasquan come after a Brick retail shop, Puppies Galore, was  in January after 26 of 39 puppies at the store were found to be sick.

Manasquan Borough Council will hold a final vote at its next regular meeting, scheduled for 8 p.m. Sept. 17 in Borough Hall, 201 E. Main St., Manasquan.

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